Sainsbury's warns of "frenemies" in the fridge and fruit bowl

Sainsbury's is urging shoppers to consider ways of reducing fresh produce waste, among them making sure incompatible fruits and vegetables are not stored together.

The supermarket estimates that 20 per cent of fruit and vegetables, worth £2.6 billion each year, are wasted in the home, and that shoppers could save over £100 a year by being more aware of storage issues.

Key among these is the role of ethylene, which is produced by some fruits as they ripen, and which can reduce the shelf-life of neighbours in the fruit bowl or fridge.

Part of its Waste less, Save more campaign, Sainsbury's Culinary Companionship Code explains that, for example, cucumbers and peppers should be stored away from ethylene-producing fruit, but that the gas has no effect on cherries.

It also warns that potatoes can be tainted by being stored with onions, which also produce low levels of sprout-inducing ethylene.

Sainsbury's head of sustainability Paul Crewe said: "Waste, and in particular food waste, is one of the most important issues facing us all today and we're committed to making a radical difference across UK households and supporting our customers to waste less and save more."

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